What's The Point of Critique?

September 11, 2011
By julian GOLD, Eugene, Oregon
julian GOLD, Eugene, Oregon
17 articles 17 photos 223 comments

Favorite Quote:
The goal is not about living forever, the goal is about creating something that can.


To whom it may concern,
There are many aspects of Teen Ink that I cherish. For example, I enjoy reading the brilliant submissions that are promoted on the site. I appreciate being able to write about anything that is on my mind, and getting feedback from like-minded individuals. I also love giving critique to writers who need it, and I enjoy getting feedback on my writing in return. There’s only one problem. What is the point of giving critique to users if the writers can’t actually utilize it?

I get lots of wonderful critique on my writing, and yet I am unable to do anything with the feedback, besides deleting the piece and resubmitting it with the revisions. Then I would have to wait several weeks before it goes online, and when that happens, I would have to start all over in the process of getting people to read, comment, and rate the piece. This is quite an inconvenience and a hassle, but a hassle that I feel could be avoided with a simple change to the site.

I have a suggestion that would help improve the quality of work on the entire Teen Ink site, and make critiquing a much more meaningful experience to everybody involved. My idea is to simply add an edit button to each article in a writer’s inventory. This would enable users to quickly correct misspelled words, fix grammar and punctuation errors, and expand on the piece. To lighten the load on the editors, a program could be employed to detect whether the edit only involved simple spelling changes and such, and if so, the piece could be instantly changed without having to go through an approval process. A language filter could be used to ensure that all work is free of any and all profanity, and thusly Teen Ink would be able to stay a safe and clean environment for budding writers.

Only if a piece of writing was edited in a more complex manner, for example if a new paragraph was added, or if several sentences were replaced, would an editor have to check the writing to make sure it is safe and appropriate. In this manner, critiques such as “expand upon your ideas further” could be listened to and instigated.

This is my suggestion to improve upon an already splendid site that has changed the lives of teen writers from all over the world. If my ideas are realized, I am sure that Teen Ink will find a fresh surge of creativity and happiness to everybody involved in the editing process. In this way, the quality of work would improve manifold, and Teen Ink would continue to be a very special place for young writers everywhere.
Yours truly,
Julian Mullins

The author's comments:
I know that lots of Teen Inkers would benefit from this change, so comment if you're with me! Let's make this happen!

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This article has 35 comments.


on Aug. 16 2015 at 4:43 pm
SomeoneMagical PLATINUM, Durham, New Hampshire
22 articles 1 photo 260 comments
Agree:) thanks for writing this

on May. 4 2014 at 12:10 am
Love2Read72 PLATINUM, Kentfield, California
24 articles 0 photos 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” — Taylor Swift

I agree with you. If you get constructive criticism, you should be able to try to fix it.

Klammyt GOLD said...
on Aug. 19 2013 at 2:57 pm
Klammyt GOLD, San Diego, California
17 articles 1 photo 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Remember you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
-Christopher Robin to Pooh

Yes! This would be so useful!

on Jul. 20 2013 at 5:17 pm
Superhero_Fan SILVER, Tomorrowland, California
7 articles 1 photo 163 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Impossible; for How many people did you know who refracted your own light to you?” - Fahrenheit 451

I agree! This would help out a lot!

on Jan. 1 2012 at 3:53 pm
fictitious-quandary GOLD, Orlando, Florida
18 articles 5 photos 83 comments

Favorite Quote:
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right"
- Henry Ford

I agree 100%

on Dec. 6 2011 at 9:56 am
camohunter19 GOLD, Sedro-Woolley, Washington
14 articles 13 photos 128 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Girls are so queer you never know what they mean. They say No when they mean Yes, and drive a man out of his wits for the fun of it." "Violence is never the answer! It is a question, and the answer is yes."

I feel your pain!

on Nov. 17 2011 at 10:29 pm
Afanen PLATINUM, Santa Rosa, California
49 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
"But you see, Meg, just because we don't understand doesn't mean that the explanation doesn't exist."


- Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

Yes, I second Little.Miss's comment. I know it can be aggravating to wait, but I think that would be most in-keeping with the site's privacy/safety guidelines. 

TaurusGal GOLD said...
on Nov. 9 2011 at 2:42 am
TaurusGal GOLD, Hong Kong, Other
13 articles 25 photos 110 comments
An excellent idea... =]

Little.Miss said...
on Oct. 22 2011 at 9:46 pm

A good idea would be a 'request' to revise it. Say you e-mailed the TeenInk Editors directly, and sent the revision of your work to them, with the link of the old work. They could read over, approve, replace it, and maybe add a little tab saying (Little.Miss revised this on 10/22/11.)

I'd really love something like that right now. I only have one piece of writing up, and I'm dying to revise it, but it has quite a few comments on it and I'll have to start from the bottom again! :(

This is a good article, and I hope TeenInk takes consideration to it, and possibly does something like it for the near future!


Phoenixx GOLD said...
on Oct. 22 2011 at 8:09 pm
Phoenixx GOLD, Toronto, Other
17 articles 0 photos 184 comments
I get what your saying, but it seems like a really hard process, and like it'd take time for the people on teenink to actually get the through the processes of a button, and what would happen if a piece of writing was put up on the website, but it was plagerized from someones elses work? 

BluBliss GOLD said...
on Oct. 14 2011 at 1:32 pm
BluBliss GOLD, New York, New York
14 articles 0 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Bella's love for Edward was like, "Omg. He's hot. He's mine because he sparkles. Now I'll brood the wholle book while I'm with him."

Good idea. That would be a hassal. But how would a person tell the difference between an edited version of the story and a non-edited? I'm sure you'd think of something for that, so good job!

julian GOLD said...
on Oct. 12 2011 at 10:11 pm
julian GOLD, Eugene, Oregon
17 articles 17 photos 223 comments

Favorite Quote:
The goal is not about living forever, the goal is about creating something that can.

Well yes. There is that problem. Although with my idea, if there was a major revision to a piece, the editors would look it over and see if the edit is logical and sensible. If not, they can just deny the change!

Illiterate said...
on Oct. 9 2011 at 12:44 am
Illiterate, Reno, Nevada
0 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only problem are trolls who would be willing to change a decent essay into a vulgaric I Hate The World note, though TeenInk is pretty good about not having anyone just trying to be a jerk, so I think this is a good idea.
Or maybe dedicated teen-inkers should have a special privilege to approve revision if they showed passion/exuberance for such a position?  
Overall a decent essay, but I don't think it's quite the answer.  About 3/4ths there though.

on Oct. 8 2011 at 1:39 pm
TheWordSmith SILVER, Placerville, California
5 articles 0 photos 52 comments
This is very good! What I particularly liked was that your arguments were presented very clearly. I have read many opinion pieces where the author gets too wordy, but yours was excellent! 5/5 stars.

julian GOLD said...
on Oct. 7 2011 at 11:28 pm
julian GOLD, Eugene, Oregon
17 articles 17 photos 223 comments

Favorite Quote:
The goal is not about living forever, the goal is about creating something that can.

Yes! That's happened to me a lot too! And I've seen that it's happened to many others as well. Another reason why editing would be so helpful!

on Oct. 7 2011 at 10:49 pm
Love.Hate.Passion., Spring Valley, Illinois
0 articles 0 photos 356 comments

Favorite Quote:
~Hope. Faith. Love~
~Be proud of who you are.You are all unique in a different way.~
~I WILL NOT fade into oblivion , and become less than
a distant memory.~

I think you captured the emotion of what alot of teeninkers feel. You did a remarkable presentation in stating your ideas and suggestions. Great job.

5 stars!


on Oct. 6 2011 at 6:36 pm
BrightBurningCampeador PLATINUM, Portland, Oregon
42 articles 11 photos 333 comments
I don't know, I don't remember any specific peices, but I know I've said to myself on a number of ocasions that a mag peice could use some editing.

on Oct. 6 2011 at 9:10 am
Maggie2014 GOLD, Great Falls, Virginia
11 articles 0 photos 13 comments
YES PLEASE!

julian GOLD said...
on Oct. 5 2011 at 10:17 pm
julian GOLD, Eugene, Oregon
17 articles 17 photos 223 comments

Favorite Quote:
The goal is not about living forever, the goal is about creating something that can.

Thanks for the comment! And yes, your idea is valid, although I think if a piece got into the magazine, it most likely doesn't need too much editing. :)

on Oct. 5 2011 at 9:52 pm
IamtheshyStargirl PLATINUM, Lothlorien, Utah
44 articles 16 photos 2216 comments

Favorite Quote:
Boredom instigates extreme creativity.
~Amoniel

"Bowing gratefully to all of my subjects, 'thank you. Thank you. The pleasure is mine." Nah, I'm just kidding. We're all kings together.'"
~Thesilentraven

This is such a great idea, and you present if perfectly, I feel. 

I think it is promising that it got Editors' Choice :)





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